This Is The Way
The Mandalorian bows out with a pretty good finale, one that resolves the immediate conflict and cliffhanger left last time out while leaving the door wide open for the already green-lit second season. While the overarching plot hasn’t always been the strongest, Disney+’s flagship show will undoubtedly be remembered for starting a new trend of baby-versions of our favourite characters going forward, especially after the recent announcement that baby Sonic would be in the upcoming Sonic movie.
We begin the season 1 finale of The Mandalorian with the two speeder bikes zipping across the landscape until the droid arrives and saves baby Yoda from his fate. Scooping it up, the duo steal the speeder while back in town Mando and the others prepare for the worst as the troopers outside look set to blast the wall open. Before they can leave through the vents however, they’re given until nightfall to make a decision over whether they’ll cooperate with Gideon or not.
It’s here we finally see more of Mando’s past as flashbacks show his planet being attacked and him being carried away to safety, into a basement away from the gunfire and war raging outside. This is where he was picked up by one of the mandalorians and we see firsthand that he was taken to safety by them.
As all looks lost, the IG droid arrives and immediately turns the tide of battle, shooting up the stormtroopers outside and giving Mando enough time to grab the machine gun and begin shooting up the various troopers too. While a few of them manage to break inside and corner Cara, leaving her isolated, Gideon shoots an explosive box and manages to knock out Mando.
They scramble inside to safety but Mando is injured, with a cut on the back of his head and close to passing out. When a flamethrower trooper arrives and begins burning up the room, little baby Yoda uses his powers and stop the fire from spreading, propelling the flames back at the trooper and passing out. The droid remains with Mando though, convincing him to remove his helmet and subsequently healing him.
With Mando back in the team, the group keep walking and find a whole stack of helmets on the floor. As Mando looks set to kick off, the armourer appears, telling them she wants to salvage what remains. It’s here she tasks Mando with one final mission – reunite baby Yoda with its own race.
As they escape, the group hurry down the lava river but find themselves ambushed at the entrance. The droid makes a bold decision to sacrifice itself and self-destruct in order to save the others. He destroys the stormtroopers waiting for them but unfortunately Gideon arrives in his tie-fighter, prompting Mando to use his jets to fly up and eventually detonate the fighter in mid-air.
With the fight over, Mando scoops up baby Yoda and continues his journey, saying goodbye to the others. Meanwhile at the tie-fighter, Gideon breaks free from his fighter and looks out at the horizon; this fight is far from over.
The Mandalorian has been a bit of a mixed bag this year but one thing it has successfully managed to do, is bring the joy back into Star Wars. I’ve admitted before that I really hated The Last Jedi, to the point where I almost walked out the theatre and I just can’t bring myself to pay money and watch Rise Of Skywalker either. The Mandalorian is not without its faults but the cuteness of baby Yoda and hits of nostalgia are enough to hide the paper-thin plot.
Given the family-friend appeal though, The Mandalorian will undoubtedly be a hit, despite its over-reliance on deus ex machina and repetitive storytelling elements and the finale certainly shows off a decent amount of action and slick visual effects to hide this. Still, for all the nitpicking, The Mandalorian is an enjoyable thrill ride and finally appears to be taking Star Wars in the right direction. Quite what the second season has in store for us however remains to be seen.
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